Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:21PM - 258 Views

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Chad Abshire

Staff Writer

CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin encouraged all West Virginians on Thursday to report any structural damage their homes or businesses might have sustained during last week’s storm to their local emergency management office.

“I have seen firsthand the damage this storm has done to homes and businesses across the state, and I’m working to get our state some additional assistance,” Tomblin said. “I’ve asked the president for a major federal disaster declaration.”

On Nov. 2, Tomblin, along with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, toured Mingo County to assess storm damage.

“I know there are some folks still waiting for their power to come back on,” Tomblin said. “I’m staying in close contact with the power companies and want those customers to know I am continuing to devote all state resources to making sure all power is restored as soon as possible.”

Approximately 15,000 customers remain without electricity, and shelters are still available in the affected areas, a release from the governor’s office stated. Local emergency management offices remain open and are now assisting with damage assessments.

The release also stated that damage reports would be submitted to FEMA as additional documentation for Tomblin’s request for a major federal disaster declaration. If granted, the declaration would provide both public and individual assistance.

“This declaration could provide our families and businesses the support they need to begin repairing their damaged homes and facilities,” Tomblin said. “In order to demonstrate the destruction to FEMA, we need a complete listing of all damage in the state so I’m asking all West Virginians to report their damage to their county’s office of emergency management as soon as possible.

“Please know that Joanne and I continue to pray for all those who have been affected the storm,” Tomblin said. “We will do everything we can to help as you begin cleaning up the mess Sandy left behind.”

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